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Environment

How Paying More for Quality Furniture Benefits the Environment

Shutterstock Photo License By Arnold O. A. Pinto
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What do you usually do with your old furniture when you buy new? In spite of the best of intentions, most furniture ends up in a landfill.

In fact, over 80% of furniture waste goes to landfills, and over 12 million tons of furniture waste is generated annually. This just goes to show that furniture, something that was once meant to last decades, is being considered as a consumable item meant to be replaced frequently.

If you want to support the environment by getting eco-friendly furniture for your office or home, follow these tips.

Natural and biodegradable materials

No matter how well you care for your furniture, it will eventually wear out. With this in mind, you should choose natural materials that are biodegradable or can be reused for other purposes. Solid hardwoods are a great place to start, as well as kinds of cotton, rattan, wicker, and linens.

You can also do a bit of research on the most popular sustainable furniture brands before starting your actual furniture shopping. There are many brand reviews online that indicate how sustainable a furniture manufacturer really is in its operations and furniture construction. This can take a bit of time but pays off if you really want to support certain companies.

Metal hardware and fasteners

Cheap metal, faux crystals, and cheap mirror panels make up the hardware and fasteners for a myriad of home furniture. These materials are non-biodegradable, and there is little use for them when the furniture wears out. Instead, choose high-quality treated metal hardware, fasteners, and drawer glides that last forever and can be replaced if needed.

Go with solid wood furniture that is built to last

While the term “engineered wood” might not sound sustainable, the way it is made actually uses natural wood and other materials. Engineered wood is actually much stronger than a lot of the woods used in the home furniture, and it can be a bit cheaper in some cases. Buying solid wood furniture, either natural or engineered, will ensure you can refurbish it again and again.

One note of caution: solid woods and wood veneers are not the same. An engineered wood frame covered with a wood veneer isn’t going to last very long. The veneer will eventually come away, and since the underlying wood doesn’t have a natural grain, you’re forced to paint the piece or discard it.

Plan to reuse your furniture through several generations of decor

There are a lot of eco-friendly ways to dispose of furniture. One way to do this is by reusing your furniture.

Most furniture is solidly built. It has to be to meet minimum weight requirements. If you pay a bit more for home furniture that can be reupholstered, repaired, and maintained for decades. You’ll save money by not buying a series of inferior sofas or chairs, but it does take time to see the return on your investment.

The biggest benefit of buying high-quality furniture is that it can be refurbished easily to continue using it. The frame of most sofas, chairs and other furniture are pretty solid, making them easy to refurbish for reuse or continued use. You can often reupholster, refinish wood grains, or repaint the furniture and use it for many additional years. There are even stores that offer custom foam so that you can keep the furniture comfortable for years to come.

Higher quality sustainable furniture doesn’t have to break the bank

Although it is always true that you get what you pay for, you don’t have to empty your wallet to buy sustainable furniture. Unlike other retail industries, eco-friendly furniture often doesn’t cost much more than its less environmentally friendly counterparts. In fact, there are some ways that you can get really good deals on furniture that will last and not pollute the earth when no longer usable.

The best prices on sustainable home furniture are to be found online. Diversified online furniture stores offer a plethora of options from different brands and furniture collections. Not only will you be able to find furniture made of natural materials and of durable construction, but you’ll also be able to do so in a myriad of different home decor styles.

In addition to offering everyday low prices, online furniture stores give you discounts for buying a full furniture set, clearance sections, sale events, and free delivery. These stores have all the best brands, so if you do a bit of research, you’ll be certain to find the perfect sustainable furniture for your eco-friendly home. Buy furniture online on 1StopBedrooms for the widest selection.

Daljit Sandhu is a private investor with significant operational and investment expertise developed over a 20+ year career creating, managing, and advising new and established companies. Daljit has successful seed investments in PropTech, FinTech, HealthTech, Entertainment Tech, Data and AI companies. She completed an executive programme with the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Fintech and is a regular attendee and participant in the world’s leading tech industry conferences.

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